A Shot in the Dark (1964) / Comedy-Mystery
MPAA Rated: Not rated, but probably PG for innuendo and comic violence
Running Time: 102 min.
Cast: Peter Sellers, Elke Sommers, George Sanders, Herbert Lom, Tracy Reed
Director: Blake Edwards
Screenplay: Blake Edwards, William Peter Blatty (based on the stage play by Harry Kurnitz, which was an adaptation of a French stage play, "L'Idiote", by Marcel Achard)
Review published August 30, 2006
A millionaire's driver is shot dead in the room of his maid (Sommer, The Prize), and all the facts point to her guilt. Yet this doesn't hinder the illustrious Inspector Clouseau (Sellers, Dr. Strangelove) to think she's hiding something. Helping her case is the fact that Clouseau has taken a liking to her. Convinced that she is protecting the true killer, he has her released from prison and follows her hoping she will lead him to the correct killer. Trouble is that no matter where she goes, people seem to die.
Probably the best of the Pink Panther series. There's lots of good stuff in this one, from the incredible music by Henry Mancini (Charade, Breakfast at Tiffany's), the brilliant job of Peter Sellers as Clouseau, and some well-set up sight gags. Only too much reliance on easy slapstick for comedy hinders this from comic greatness. The supporting cast of Sommers, Sanders, and Lom is perfect as well. Hip, funny, and watchable time and time again.
©1996 Vince Leo